Arnold/Menzel scoring a historic victory at the 6h Race

Lance David Arnold (Duisburg/ Germany) and Christian Menzel (Kelberg/ Germany) have scored a historic victory at the seventh round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. The Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Haribo Team Manthey took the chequered flag of the 6h ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen after 6:06:56.091 hours. Arnold/ Menzel had completed 42 laps on the 24.368 kilometres long combination of the Nürburgring short connection and the Nordschleife which corresponds to a total distance of 1023.598 kilometres. Never before in the 83 years history of the Eifel circuit had the 1.000 kilometres mark been hit in a 6h Race for touring cars at the Nürburgring. The podium was completed by Timo Bernhard (Dittweiler/ Germany), Arno Klasen (Karlshausen/ Germany) and Christian Hohenadel (Quierschied/ Germany), followed by Armin Hahne (Wimbach/ Germany), Jochen Krumbach (Eschweiler/ Germany) and Marc Gindorf (Monaco) in two other Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by Manthey-Racing. The local heroes such achieved their first triple victory in the history of races of this most popular endurance racing championship in Europe and their fourth successive win at the 6h Race. A 30 minutes summary of the race will be broadcasted on 7th August 2010 at 10:15hrs in Sport 1.

In the timed practice which took place in the morning Arnold/ Menzel gained pole position with a razor-thin advance of 0.631 seconds ahead of Frank Stippler (Bad Münstereifel/ Germany), Hans-Joachim Stuck (Austria) and Luca Ludwig (Bornheim/ Germany) in the Audi R8 entered by Phoenix-Racing. At the beginning of the race, Stippler went into the race lead. However, after only seven laps the race was over for the team. The Phoenix Audi retired with a misaligned track due to a collision with a car which was to be lapped. Marko Hartung (Wallroda/ Germany), Jörg Viebahn (Engelskirchen/ Germany) and Claudia Hürtgen (Aachen/ German) were able to go the pace of the leading group for quite a long time in their BMW Z4 GT3 entered by the team ‚Need for Speed by Schubert Motorsport’ but then had to stop the race in lap 24 with technical failure.

“We would have preferred to continue our fight with the Audi”, said team manager Olaf Manthey. “Although our cars were them dominating the race, we did not give any kind of team order. I only told my drivers not to do any harm to each other.” Arnold was more than happy with the historic victory: “This win means a lot to me and I am very happy for my team. We have really been working very hard and for a long time to achieve this success. That was a damned hard race today. In the leading group, there were neck-to-neck battles over the complete six hours race duration – even amongst team mates. Great overall, that was a great show also for the many spectators around the track.” Klasen returned from the prizegiving podium with mixed feelings. “I was involved in great duels at the beginning of the race – and thereby I am a gentleman driver”, he said smiling. “I am certainly not satisfied with place two finally. If you start a race in a Manthey Porsche, you wish of course to finish on top of the podium.” Gindorf replies with a great deal of irony; “We ourselves are a little more moderate and just try to make the best of it. Seriously: We have confirmed our position on the podium. So you can further count on us.”

Into position four behind the top three finished Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen (both from Barweiler/ Germany), Niclas Kentenich (Neuss/ Germany) and Dr. Edgar Althoff (Viersen/ Germany) in their Porsche 911 GT3 R, ahead of Michael Zehe (Floersheim/ Germany), Marco Schelp und Alexander Roloff (both from Berlin) in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S. The winners of the Porsche-Cup class, Andzej Dzikevic (Lithunia), Roland Botor (Mönchengladbach/ Germany) and Patrick Simon (Wiesbaden/ Germany), finished sixth overall, followed by the fastest BMW Z4 GT3 driven by Rudi Adams (Ahütte/ Germany), Stefan Aust (Castrop-Rauxel/ Germany) and Peter Posavac (Essen/ Germany).

Black Falcon defending their championship lead
With their sixth class win in the season 2010, Alexander Böhm (Kelberg/ Germany), Philipp Leisen (Irrel/ Germany) and Carsten Knechtges (Mayen/ Germany), driving a BMW Z4 (VLN series production cars up to 2.500 cc cubic capacity), defended their championship lead in the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. Into second position follow Christoph Breuer (Nettersheim/ Germany), Jürgen Wohlfarth (Murradt/ Germany) and Elmar Deegener (Stelzenberg/ Germany) who, on their part, gained their fifth class victory with the Audi TTS (VLN Specials up to 2.000 cc cubic capacity with turbo). The Renault Clio Cup classification of the 6h Race was won by Jannik Olivo and Elmar Jurek (both from Berlin/ Germany).

After seven races, the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring will now go into its well-deserved summer break. The eighth round of the season, the 42nd ADAC Barbarossapreis, organised by the MSC Sinzig e.V. im ADAC, will start on 25th September and go over the distance of four hours. The teams will now have eight weeks time to get prepared for the last third of the season.